Red meat industry urged to comply

2015-06-10 06:01

THE National Stock Theft Prevention Forum urges all role players within the red meat industry to co-operate in the prevention of stock theft, which is a highly economical and emotional crime, by abiding by existing laws.

Research has proven that since the adoption of the Animal Identification Act, Act 6 of 2002, stock theft has decreased immensely.

Stock theft stripped the economy of R509 million during the 2013-’14 period, with goats to the value of R43 million, sheep to the value of R100 million and cattle to the value of R366 million stolen.

Research done by the University of the Free State on behalf of the Red Meat Industry Trust has found that these official statistics are currently under-estimated to the extent of 75% and that these figures should be closer to R2 billion.

This scourge threatens both the commercial farming sector, as well as the emergent farming sector, in most of the country. Aspects that are not always taken into account when livestock is stolen, are the impact on the job security of workers and the dependence of people on livestock for food and economic survival.

In the current crime report year, stock theft declined by 6,5% but no research to determine the reasons for the decrease has been conduc-ted. The prevalence of stock theft cannot be attributed only to the activities of the South African Police Service (SAPS), but also to the non-compliance by role-players in the red meat industry who do not see to it that livestock are properly identified.

Livestock buyers such as farmers, speculators, stock auctions, feedlots and abattoirs can be, or are unknowingly, recipients of stolen livestock, as they do not ensure that the livestock they purchase comply with the provisions of the law.

In the process the laws are transgressed.

Heavy fines can be imposed or a perpetrator can be prosecuted.

The Animal Identification Act, Act 6 of 2002, makes provision for the compulsory marking of livestock and the Stock Theft Act, Act 57 of 1959, controls the movement of livestock. Both these acts have been put in place to support the industry and the SAPS to combat stock theft and make it easier to recover stolen livestock.

It appears that a large part of the livestock trade does not comply with the provisions of these acts and does not comply with the basic requirements to prevent stock theft.

The National Stock Theft Prevention Forum requests:

) That all livestock owners register a unique brand mark in their name and apply it to all livestock in their possession in the prescribed manner as described in the Animal Identification Act, Act 6 of 2002.

) The completion and submission of the document of identification and stock removal certificate with all transactions.

) That all livestock buyers, auctioneers, feedlots and abattoirs confirm livestock ownership and refuse to take ownership of livestock that are not marked or where the necessary document of identification and stock removal certificate are not supplied.

) That all documents of identification be kept on record for 12 months.

The National Stock Theft Forum requests that all role players in the red meat industry urgently play an active role in stock theft prevention.

Stock Theft Units are instructed to strictly apply the Animal Identification Act, Act 6 of 2002 and the Stock theft Act, Act 57 of 1959, to all buyers of livestock with zero tolerance

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